STATEWIDE – Home heating prices are low this year, which means a lot of families are saving money with the help of a heating assistance program.
“Go get your fuel at such a low price. I mean that’s just the best thing,” said Lynn Lugdon, Penquis program manager.
This is the season where people start cranking up the heat.
As of now, Maine’s heating fuel prices are relatively low compared to last year.
“I talked to an oil vendor earlier this morning, and they said prices are 64 cents lower than last year at this time, so that’s great for the clients,” said Lugdon.
Lugdon said this year’s oil prices are $2.14 per gallon, however last year was $2.78 per gallon.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of the homes in Maine use heating oil as their primary heating fuel.
With the help of the Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP, lower income families can survive the winter season with a warm home.
“We’re expecting to serve more people this year due to COVID, so their benefits are a little lower than last year because we received about the same amount of money last year,” said Lugdon. “It could mean that they might not get as big of a benefit like last year, but with the prices being lower they will get more of a benefit.”
Homes can be heated with oil, kerosene, gas, electricity or propane.
Lugdon said Penquis has served 5,134 clients with heating services so far.
Other counties with HEAP also provides aid for families.
“This year has been a lot harder due to the COVID. A lot more people are finding that they need more assistance than they may have ever needed before, so we are here to help them through that process,” said Lee Hardison, energy services director of Downeast Community Partners.
HEAP will be taking phone applications until July 15. For more information, call 207-610-5914.